Bright Lights, Big City, Close Sushi Saturday, Aug 28 2010 

Sweet home indeed.

About a month ago, as I think I mentioned, my high-school buddies, Mr. Glib, and I headed to the lakeside terrain of southwestern Virginia to converge upon the home of one JPK. We were instantly welcomed into his spotless, modern, and elegantly spare home, which contains any extravagance a fabulous lakehouse can hold.  Boat.  Jetskis.  Multiple, MULTIPLE places for outdoor lounging.  Plasmas/LCDs.  Karaoke.  Man-cave. Workout room.  Sauna.  Five-plus bathrooms.  Fire pit.  Etc. etc. Epic.

Of course, JPK is financially at a point in life where Mr. Glib and I are not (and may never be).  But it got me thinking about our condo in Chicago versus JPK’s lakehouse in a small town.  Sure, our Chicago real-estate money could stretch more there (maybe to, say, 3 bathrooms and one-quarter of a man cave).  Sure, the views were gorgeous and the mood was relaxed.  Sure, I have suggested (tongue in cheek … sort of) JPK hire me for a role with his company more times than is considered appropriate. But what does one sacrifice trading convenience for square footage?  It’s an eternal debate.  Here’s where I currently stand.

Chicago Minuses:

Public transportation and the stress it creates.  Will I just miss my train and half to run, Gwynth in Sliding-Doors style? Will I get a seat or have to stand with my 18 bags shrugged across me?

Real estate.  $300 per square foot and higher (much higher) is not an exaggeration, depending on neighborhood.

Suburban flight.  When faced with Chicago public schools vs. private tuition vs. a move to the distant suburbs, most young families choose the last option.  And are never heard from again.

Corrupt government.  Or so they tell me.  Ehhh .

Chicago Pluses:

Public transportation and the convenience it provides.  Never again worry about driving under the influence when busses, trains, and an abundance of cabs take you wherever you need to go.  Mr. Glib and I sold our car more than a year ago and only miss it when going OUT of town somewhere.

BYOB.  Bring your own bottle/booze/bubbly. Pick your cuisine – Mexican, Italian, Sushi, Thai, Indian, Moroccan, Argentinean – and pick your own drinks for the night out of your own fridge.  It cuts down on costs and allows for greater choice.  I love this about Chicago (and other big cities).  Even my bikini-waxing shop advertises itself as “BYOB.”

Following up on this reason, the abundance of restaurants – all cuisines, all good, many within walking distance – makes me very happy and content.  It also may explain why, despite my increased walking and physical activity levels, I’ve gained 10 pounds since moving up here.  D’oh!

Culture.  Improv clubs, theaters, venues of all sizes for artists to match. Countless museums. And a populace that appreciates it.

It’s a trade off for sure.  Comfort versus convenience, affordability versus choice. The latter is great in my youth but as I get older and less interested in BYOB Ethiopian, I may prefer a three-car garage and a nice corner pub to dine at.

Of course, there is always the middle ground – Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Austin, Seattle, San Diego.  Who knows where this life will take us next.

Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 387 Friday, Aug 20 2010 

Friday Lyriz QuizSome of you might not be a fan of this week’s theme – hey, I think I may be among you! But nevertheless, I try (usually in vain) to appeal to the masses. So today’s artists have in common the fact that they took country and made it appeal to the masses. All the songs below had massive “crossover” power, meaning they appeared on the same radio stations playing Rihanna (or Matchbox 20 … or The Kinks).

In other news, happy birthday to Mr. Glib (my husband) and Mr. maiden-name Glib (my Dad) and my high-school-and-beyond pal Sundial.  Busy weekend for cake and/or stamps.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #387

1. “You’re one of those guys who likes to shine his machine, you make me take off my shoes before you let me get in” (late 90s)

2. “Some people look down on me, but I don’t give a rip. I’ll stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip” (mid-00s)

3. “Baby, when I met you, there was peace unknown.  I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb” (early 80s)


Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 386 Friday, Aug 13 2010 

Last weekend at the lake was great – coming back to the cold slap of reality … not so much.  I’ve been struggling for inspiration on this thing as I sort through a bunch of nonsense in my real life.  Nonsense resolving, though, so hopefully I’ll be better.  Until then, here’s a potpourri lyric quiz.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #385

1. “I’m just a crosshair I’m just a shot away from you” (mid-00s)

2. “I drive on her streets cause she’s my companion, I walk through her hills cause she knows who I am” (early 90s)

3. “Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him. I’m just a notch in your bedpost, but you’re just a line in a song” (mid-00s) (more…)

Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 385 Friday, Aug 6 2010 

Friday Lyriz QuizOnce a summer, my gang from high school always tries to reunite.  Sometimes in one of our home cities, sometimes in Chattanooga, where we all met SO many years ago.  It’s always a great time, full of cheap drinks, karaoke, and enough laughter to carry us through until the next year. The three-day weekend is one of my favorite parts of the summer, and though flight delays and diversions halted our process at first, we will still have a great 48 hours. If the past is any precedent, about seven of those hours will be spent sleeping.

Anyway, it’s summertime, life is good, and the temperatures are hot.  Today’s quiz features songs, old and new, all with “summer” somewhere in the title.  Stay cool.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #385

1. “Me and some guys from school had a band and we tried real hard” (mid-80s)

2. “The weather is hot and girls are dressing less, and checking out the fellas to tell em who’s best” (early 90s)

3. “A place for a moment, an end to dream, forever I loved you, forever it seemed” (early 80s) (more…)